The Cadillac Diaries: Episode 64

As Bertram Ford gave directions, Rory Tavish drove to the remains of an old burned out house.

“What is this place?” Rory asked, getting out of the Bronco.

“This is the place where that family died. Where the blood of innocents was spilled.”

When Rory held the door open for Roddy, the dog dropped his ears and whimpered, refusing to leave the vehicle.

“This is where the wraith was born,” Ford continued.

“Knock it off, you wally,” Rory said. “You’re scaring me dog!”

“Okay, boy. You stay,” Rory said before he closed the car door and walked towards the house.

“Where are you going?” Ford asked.

“Inside. I need to see this for myself,” Rory explained.

“You can’t, man!” Ford screeched. “The wraith might kill you.”

“It’s not a wraith, Berty,” Rory growled as he pulled the front door open.

“Ghosts don’t kill people. That would make the afterlife a crowded place.”

As soon as he stepped inside, the faint smell of burnt flesh made him pause.

Rory could see that this small house with its warm colors had once been bright and inviting. He walked the length of a narrow hallway that lead from the front door to the main living room. When he spotted the first burn pile, he abruptly stopped.

“This must be where the missus died,” Rory sighed. “Shame.”

Several spent bullet casings were strewn across the floor, glittering in the rays of the afternoon sun. Rory bent down and picked up one, turning it one way then another as he carefully examined it. Suddenly he heard movement behind him and turned to see Ford, a look of panic across his face.

“Well, well. Look who decided to actually use his spine for once,” he laughed.

“I-I-I’m only here,” Ford stuttered, ” b-b-because I’m a-a-allergic to your d-d-dog.”

“Whatever helps you sleep at night, Mary,” Rory chuckled.
“Relax, Berty. Take a look at this,” Rory said, holding up the bullet casing.

Ford reached out for the casing and said, “I’m surprised the police didn’t get all of these when they ran the scene.”

“They did,” Rory said, standing up. “These casings are newer than this crime.”

Ford’s look of confusion slowly changed as a light bulb went off in his head. Holding up the casing, he smiled proudly at his discovery.

“Someone planted these.”

“That’s right, Berty,” Rory said. “My guess is to preserve the scene. The rest of this place is quite clean, considering it doesn’t appear to have been lived in for some time.”

Ford looked from the casing to the crime scene then back to Rory. When he furrowed his brow, Rory said,

“Come on, mate. You can get there. I know you can.”

“Someone has been planting evidence?” Ford asked.

Rory’s head dropped in exasperation. “No, you muppet!” he snapped. “Someone wants to preserve the crime scene.”

Ford slowly nodded his head as Rory rolled his eyes then walked toward a small room just off to the left. When he stepped inside the room, the hair on the back of his neck stood up and his skin felt as though it were crawling away from his bones. The room was too small for an adult but perfect for a child. Littered across the soft blue walls were pictures, posters and clippings from issues of Captain Bonkers comic books.

“A deep, deep sadness fills this room,” Rory said reverently.

His gaze floated across the Captain Bonkers memorabilia until it finally rested on the charred mattress.

“This is where the boy’s body was burned?” Ford asked.

“Yes,” Rory whispered.

“Oh man,” Ford groaned.

After a few moments of silence between the two, Rory asked, “Where did the husband die?”

“Not sure. Story goes that the husband was forced to watch while the mob murdered his wife and then his kid. Maybe they burned him up with his wife,” Ford guessed.

“Can’t use guesswork, Berty. What I need is the police report,” Rory snapped.

“Well there’s Lenore. She’d have it,” Ford offered.

“And who is this Lenore?” Rory asked.

“She’s the punk teenage conspiracy theorist who’s obsessed with the legend of Captain Bonkers. She’s collected everything on him.”

“Then let’s go see her,” Rory said

“Bad idea, man,” Ford said.

“Because?” Rory asked.

“She doesn’t trust anyone. She thinks I’m some sort of body snatcher type alien. She’ll shoot you before you reach her front door,” Ford warned.

“Good,” Rory said. “I like a challenge.”

Rory turned and left the house with Ford close behind.

“What about me?” Ford asked.

“If you want a ride, get in,” Rory said. “But I’m going to the crazy teenager’s house.”

“I can’t go there, man. She’ll kill me!” Ford pleaded.

“Then stay here,” Rory said, “but I’m leaving.”

Ford watched while Rory started up the Bronco and put it into reverse. Just as he began to back up, Ford jumped into the passenger’s seat.

“I’m coming with you, but I’m staying in the vehicle, man,” Ford said.

“Yea I don’t think so,” Rory said, pulling onto the road. “I need you to catch the bullets she fires at me.”

“How am I supposed to do that?” Ford asked.

“Try using your chest. That usually works.”

“Oh man!” Ford whined.

 

 

*          *          *

 

 

Lenore lived on the edge of town at the end of a winding dirt road that seemed to go on forever. When Rory finally reached the end, he pulled to a stop and looked out at an old house, its paint worn and weathered. Sitting behind a high barbed wire fence, the structure looked like a house slowly giving birth to a mobile home for the left side of the house had been added onto a trailer.

“You always bring me to the most interesting places, Berty,” Rory laughed.

Just then they heard the crack of a rifle as a bullet punched the dirt next to the Bronco.

Quickly Rory dropped down and pulled out his pistol.

“I told you she was crazy, man,” Ford reminded him.

From the house, a female voice with a thick drawl yelled, “Get out of here!”

“Wait a minute,” Rory said, thinking back. “I know that voice.”

Rory sat up, opened the door, and stepped out just as a bullet punched the dirt at his feet.

“What are you doing?” Ford snapped.

“I said leave!” the woman yelled again.

Rory slammed the car door and yelled,

“Ella? Is that you?”

After a moment of silence, the woman yelled back,

“Uncle Rory?”

“Eleanor, put that rifle away before I come in there and smack your backside!” Rory barked.

Slowly the front door of the house opened and a pale young girl stepped out onto the porch. Shorts and a t-shirt hung on her too thin frame.

“Uncle Rory! It is you!”

Rory reached back and opened the driver’s door as Roddy came bounding out barking happily.

As Roddy dashed across the yard toward Lenore, Rory looked at a confused Ford and said,

“Her dad was my best mate.”

When he reached the porch, Roddy knocked Lenore off her feet and began to furiously bathe her face and dance around her.

“Why are you shooting at strangers, Lenore? Your daddy taught you better,” Rory said as he stepped up onto the porch.

“People are trying to kill me, just like they killed Daddy,” she explained.

“Now you know your daddy died of a heart attack, girl.”

“No, Uncle Rory,” she said, shaking her head. “It was made to look like a heart attack. He was murdered.”

Rory cocked his head and asked,

“Have you been taking your medicine? And don’t lie to me.”

Lenore looked away and said, “Well then I’d best not answer.”

“Come on in,” Lenore offered.

With his hand on the screen door, Rory looked back at Ford, still hunched down in the Bronco.

“Berty, Berty, Berty,” he said, shaking his head.

“You got any iced tea?” he asked as he stepped inside, closing the door behind him.

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Published in: on August 19, 2015 at 4:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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